Muliaina on verge of milestone
October 7, 2011
Muliaina will become the second player to reach 100 caps for the All Blacks © Getty Images
Mils Muliaina will make his 100th appearance for the All Blacks after being named at fullback for their World Cup quarter-final with Argentina.
The Chiefs back will be the second player to reach the much coveted milestone following in the footsteps of skipper Richie McCaw who returns in the New Zealand back-row after recovering from a sore foot. Elsewhere for the All Blacks, Ma'a Nonu returns to inside centre with Piri Weepu getting the nod at scrum-half. Weepu is partnered at half-back by Colin Slade who is looking to fill the sizeable void left by Dan Carter.
On the wing - Sonny Bill Williams will start alongside Cory Jane with Zac Guildford (hamstring), Israel Dagg (thigh haematoma) and Richard Kahui (hamstring) all ruled out. In the forwards, hooker Keven Mealamu and lock Brad Thorn are also back on duty - replacing Andrew Hore and Ali Williams.
For Argentina, coach Santiago Phelan has reverted back to virtually the same line-up which dispatched Scotland 13-12 with the sole change enforced by the tournament-ending knee injury to No. 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, who is replaced at the back of the scrum by Leonardo Senatore. Senatore played in Argentina's last pool match against Georgia and there are four changes from that team. Prop Rodrigo Roncero, lock Manuel Carizza, winger Gonzalo Camacho and fullback Martin Rodriguez all return to the starting line-up.
The Pumas are captained by Felipe Contepomi, who needs just five points on Sunday to overtake Argentinian legend Hugo Porta as the country's all-time leading points scorer. Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, whose converted try help send Scotland out and effectively ensured Argentina's path to the knockout phase, returns to the replacements bench after starting at fullback in the disappointing 25-7 win over Georgia.
New Zealand: Mils Muliaina; Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams; Colin Slade, Piri Weepu, Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Brad Thorn, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw (c), Kieran Read
Replacements: Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Ali Williams, Victor Vito, Jimmy Cowan, Aaron Cruden, Isaia Toeava
Argentina: M Rodríguez, G Camacho, M Bosch, F Contepomi (c), H Agulla, S Fernández, N Vergallo, R Roncero, M Ledesma Arocena, J Figallo, M Carizza, P Albacete, J F Cabello, J M Leguizamón, L Senatore
Replacements: A Creevy, M Scelzo, M Ayerza, A Campos, A Lalanne, L G Amorosino,. J J Imhoff
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), George Clancy (Ireland)
Television Match Official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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